In the past three and a half years, Twitter has successfully left behind its humble beginning as a micro-blogging platform to evolve into a social media phenomenon that has captured the imagination of almost half the world’s population. I don’t know who is more surprised at the turn of events, the Twitter creators, Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams (who, it appears, are still a little clueless as to how to milk this cash cow of theirs) or the social media experts who wrote it off as a passing fad. Last year, Twitter’s rise was so meteoric that it caused the reigning social-media darling that is Facebook to break the tenth Commandment – “Thou shall not covet”, because, Facebook coveted Twitter. Big time! But that’s a post for another time.
Today, I’d like to talk about how practically the whole world is cashing in on the popularity of Twitter, though the site itself is yet to monetize the ginormous amount of traffic it receives – according to Compete, over 23 million unique visitors in September 09! (No, I can’t get over it.) Though I’d like to, it would be quite a challenge to cite all the different ways in which the world is using Twitter and still write a 1000 words post. So, I have found seven very illuminating instances I must share with you. They are not necessarily about people making money off Twitter, though there are a couple about that as well, what they have in common is the way they all illustrate how powerful a resonance Twitter has found with the Everyman. Okay, I’ll amend that to the net-surfing Everyman.
1. The first story has Demi Moore in it. Before you get any ideas, no, it’s not about Ashton Kutcher! Honestly, it’s a little scary and sad, but also a little amazing at the same time. Last April, Demi Moore a.k.a @mrskutcher was instrumental in saving the life of a suicidal woman. The woman, @sandieguy, tweeted her suicide note, with one particular tweet directed at @mrskutcher. It said, “@mrskutcher getting a knife, a big one that is sharp. Going to cut my arm down the whole arm so it doesn’t waste time”. Moore happened to catch the tweet and her timely retweet set off a flurry of retweets amongst her followers and caused the police to track down the woman, who was, thank god, found unharmed. Talk about saved in the nick of time!
2. Next, let’s learn how we can generate traffic (and possibly revenue) via Twitter, let’s take a page out of BBGeeks.com’s site – where you can find information on all things BlackBerry and buy apps and accessories for the smartphone. Like any self-respecting site, they wanted to explore new avenues to drive traffic to their site, and Twitter was as new an avenue as it got. So, they decided to set up a Twitter account in the hope of capitalizing on the new Twitter wave that the cybersphere was (and has been) experiencing. Though initially they weren’t very successful in finding many followers, a well-guided change in their approach rectified that. In their second attempt, they had one of their staff dedicated to the management of their Twitter profile and positioned him as a ‘BlackBerry troubleshooter’ who could actually help their followers and not merely push (their) links. The second time is the charm, because in less than two years they have gone from having just 100 followers to having over 23000 followers and according to a recent case study (the numbers were kept confidential), their Twitter traffic converts are higher than that of any other social network they have tracked. The occasional “Twitter only” discounts at their software and accessories store must have nicely contributed to that. Nice work, BBGeeks, that’s all I can say.
Facebook… A phenomenon, a revelation, a lifestyle, the eighth wonder of the world… I can just go on and might probably even run out of synonyms that will do justice to this 21st Century marvel. There are very few sites or companies that can boast the success Facebook enjoys… let’s see, Google, Microsoft, Amazon…? Hmmm, can’t think of too many sites that can compete with Facebook when it comes to popularity. Hell, it’s almost become a religion now (& I’m a follower I confess 😉 ). In the 5 years it has existed Facebook has changed the way people live. I’m afraid we live our lives through Facebook, for Facebook & with Facebook! It’s become so bad that I don’t think I can even remember the time when Facebook was not there!
All said & done Facebook is equal to oxygen for millions & millions of people (including me!) but do we know the journey it has gone through? Here are 10 Bizarre Facts about Facebook we ought to know…
1. More than 60 % of men and women have used Facebook to stalk their ex… & why not???
It’s like godsend for jilted ex-lovers who want to know each & everything their ex is doing after dumping them! Your ex will not know you’re following their every move & there’s no way you’ll get caught… perfect! No more public humiliation & so much information… ahem 😉
2. ??? Pictures Uploaded Monthly on Facebook
I don’t know about other people but whenever I attend a party or go for a holiday I take lots of pictures. This may seem normal but what you don’t know is that many of these photos are being taken only to post on Facebook. I also know that I am not the only one doing it. Of course there was a time when we use to click snaps for memories but hard core Facebook users like me will tell you that is no longer the case.
So we all keep posting all our photos on Facebook to share with our friends but have you ever stopped to wonder how many pictures are uploaded monthly??? The answer is 1 Billion!! That means 333,333,333 photos every day! No wonder the site keeps getting stuck so many times… I don’t blame you Facebook!
3. Active users
Lets take a look at the number of active members in Facebook over the years. In Dec 2004 there were 1 million active users in Facebook which grew to 5.5 million in 2005, 12 million in 2006, 50 million in 2007, 100 million in 2008 & has increased to 250 million as of July 2009!!! That is a growth of 250% in 5 years. Really man, Facebook IS making the world a smaller place.
4. More than 30 million users update their status at least once each day
This is not so much about Facebook but about how people lose their mind sometimes on Facebook. We all know that Facebook allows you to update your Status… but some people really take it to another level! I just couldn’t leave these gems out; you have to see for yourself…
o … can speak French in Russian..
o …’s charm is so contagious that a vaccine was created for it.
o … thinks that a day without sunshine is like night.
o … is a lover not a fighter, but he’s also a fighter so don’t get any ideas.
o … is so broke that she’s going to KFC to lick other peoples fingers.
o … feels ashamed of his smoking but it’s better that I smoke this and let the dreams of the cigarette workers come true then to be selfish & worry about my lungs.